Finn Russell Brilliant Japan beat Scotland to reach World Cup quarters for first time

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YOKOHAMA, Japan (Reuters) – Japan produced a scintillating display of attacking rugby then withheld a spirited Scotland fightback to triumph 28-21 on a memorable night in Yokohama and reach the Rugby World Cup quarter-finals for the first time on Sunday.

Japan’s Kenki Fukuoka and team mates celebrate at the end of the match
REUTERS/Matthew Childs

Wing Kenki Fukuoka led the way with two tries, while Kotaro Matsushima and Keita Inagaki also scored as the hosts held off a fierce second-half assault from a team they had lost against in all seven of their previous meetings.

When Japan beat South Africa four years ago – having won only one of their previous 24 World Cup matches – it was considered the greatest shock in rugby history. This time, having already beaten Ireland three weeks ago, it did not even feel like a real surprise.

They were faster, sharper, more inventive and, roared on by the vast majority of the delirious red-and-white-clad crowd, absolutely relentless in everything they did as they became the first tier-two team to reach the last eight since Fiji in 2007.

Having won all four of their matches to top Pool A with 19 points, they will face the Springboks again in the quarter-finals

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